Huebner’s Kindergarten incorporates a strong academic program through a rich, meaningful, and balanced curriculum of skills and information which encourages children to learn more. This child oriented program is designed especially to develop the readiness skills, good work habits, and acceptable social behaviors a child needs in order to be successful.
At the beginning of the year, our primary focus is on behaviors essential to growth and learning: cooperation, courtesy, listening, following directions, sharing, participating, consideration, and respect for the needs and safety of self and others. As children mature and attention spans develop, emphasis swings from social and emotional growth to academic growth.
We use technology to enhance all academic areas. Our curriculum focuses on real world applications, making connections, allow students to develop critical creative thinking skills through self-exploration.
Science: In Kindergarten, science introduces the use of simple classroom and field investigations. As students learn science skills, they identify components of the natural world including rocks, soil and water. Students observe the seasons, and growth of plants and animals, as examples of change. In addition, Kindergarten science includes the identification of organisms and objects and their parts. Students learn how to group living organisms and nonliving objects and explore the basic needs of living organisms. Students should understand a whole in terms of its components and how these components relate to each other and to the whole. The unifying concepts are continuing threads that tie science together and are emphasized in all units of instruction throughout the year.
Social Studies: As in science, social studies is very hands on and exploratory. Our focuses throughout the year will be on cultures, holidays, and celebrations around the world, community, geography, basic needs, Texas and our country, the state and national pledge, and technology with Digital Citizenship awareness.
Math: Kindergarteners’ math skills are developed using varying resources and programs all aligned with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS.) Daily use of manipulatives help Kindergarteners become successful at patterns, counting and numbers, geometry, measurement, probability and statistics, problem solving and composing and decomposing numbers. We use the Exemplars Program to develop critical thinking skills and learn various ways to solve math problems. One story problem is chosen each week. Story elements, vocabulary, retelling the problem and being able to prove our understanding using pictures, numbers and words are the main objectives focused on weekly. Knowing the answer is not as important as showing and proving how one got the answer.
Language Arts: In Kindergarten, we the use the Building Blocks Program which consists of six basic components:
- Desire to Learn to Read and Write: Create an environment where all students see themselves becoming independent readers and writers through a variety of developmentally appropriate activities.
- Language Concepts: Foster the ability to read and write words through the use of morning messages, journal entries, sentence building activities, and environmental print.
- Print Concepts: Teach print concepts by modeling how to write and participating in shared reading and shared writing experiences.
- Phonemic Awareness: Develop phonemic awareness including the concept of rhyme, through activities with poetry, rhyming books, tongue twisters, and playing with language.
- Interesting Words: Extend the list of real-life words that students find personally relevant, such as favorite restaurant names, favorite cartoon characters, and family members.
- Letters and Sounds: Encourage letter and sound recognition through activities with alphabet books, beginning and ending sounds, and shared writing of predictable charts.
We also use Daily Five as a part of our literacy block. Daily Five is a framework for structuring literacy time so students develop lifelong habits of reading, writing, and working independently. Students select from five authentic reading and writing choices, working independently toward personalized goals, while the teacher meets individual needs through whole-group and small-group instruction, as well as one-on-one conferring. Those rotations are: Read to Self, Listen to Reading, Work on Writing, Read to Someone, and Word Work. In using Daily Five during our literacy block, we have found that our classrooms produce productive, highly engaged students who are developing a true love of literacy.